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Author Topic:   Einstein is rolling over in His Grave, or Cern makes a big mistake
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3086
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 1 of 74 (634560)
09-22-2011 5:10 PM


Who bets the results can not be duplicated??

http://news.yahoo.com/...r-physics-challenged-194937846.html

quote:

GENEVA (AP) A pillar of physics that nothing can go faster than the speed of light appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein's theories.

Scientists at the world's largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than light. That's something that according to Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity the famous E (equals) mc2 equation just doesn't happen.

"The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The organization, known as CERN, hosted part of the experiment, which is unrelated to the massive $10 billion Large Hadron Collider also located at the site.

Gillies told The Associated Press that the readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to independently verify the measurements before claiming an actual discovery.

"They are inviting the broader physics community to look at what they've done and really scrutinize it in great detail, and ideally for someone elsewhere in the world to repeat the measurements," he said Thursday.

Scientists at the competing Fermilab in Chicago have promised to start such work immediately.

"It's a shock," said Fermilab head theoretician Stephen Parke, who was not part of the research in Geneva. "It's going to cause us problems, no doubt about that if it's true."

The Chicago team had similar faster-than-light results in 2007, but those came with a giant margin of error that undercut its scientific significance.

Other outside scientists expressed skepticism at CERN's claim that the neutrinos one of the strangest well-known particles in physics were observed smashing past the cosmic speed barrier of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second).

University of Maryland physics department chairman Drew Baden called it "a flying carpet," something that was too fantastic to be believable.

CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. But given the enormous implications of the find, they still spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there was no flaws in the experiment.

"We have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement," said Antonio Ereditato, a physicist at the University of Bern, Switzerland, who was involved in the experiment known as OPERA.

The researchers are now looking to the United States and Japan to confirm the results.

A similar neutrino experiment at Fermilab near Chicago would be capable of running the tests, said Stavros Katsanevas, the deputy director of France's National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research. The institute collaborated with Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory for the experiment at CERN.

Katsanevas said help could also come from the T2K experiment in Japan, though that is currently on hold after the country's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Scientists agree if the results are confirmed, that it would force a fundamental rethink of the laws of nature.

Einstein's special relativity theory that says energy equals mass times the speed of light squared underlies "pretty much everything in modern physics," said John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at CERN who was not involved in the experiment. "It has worked perfectly up until now."

He cautioned that the neutrino researchers would have to explain why similar results weren't detected before.

"This would be such a sensational discovery if it were true that one has to treat it extremely carefully," said Ellis.


Edited by ramoss, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1566 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 2 of 74 (634564)
09-22-2011 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ramoss
09-22-2011 5:10 PM


Who bets the results can not be duplicated?

Probably not, but I still wouldn't say that "Cern makes a big mistake". The caution shown and requests for duplication are exactly what we want to see in such circumstances.

The big problem is that such superluminal neutrino speeds have not been seen over vastly greater distances - primarily with supernova explosions.

A 60ns difference compared to light over the observed distance works out to be a ~2 year difference compared to light with supernova SN1987A. This is something completely at odds with observation where the initial neutrino burst arrived 3 hours before the light (owing to the mean free path through the star for the shock wave being much longer for the neutrino component compared to the photon component)


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Percy
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Posts: 17744
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 3 of 74 (634565)
09-22-2011 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ramoss
09-22-2011 5:10 PM


Either this is a very biased article, or the interviewed physicists are being extremely polite. The odds of finding new phenomena aren't bad, happens all the time in physics, but of overturning Einsteinian physics? Not very likely, in my opinion.

CERN's reputation for quality research is well deserved, so it wouldn't surprise me at all if the results were replicated, but I'm expecting an eventual explanation consistent with Einstein. This has the same feel as that discovery a decade or so ago of light packets that could arrive before they departed.

Also, given that Fermilab is scheduled to discontinue operation at the end of this year, they might not have sufficient time to do the necessary setup work to their neutrino facility, and experimenters currently on the schedule through the year's end will fight hard to maintain their place.

--Percy


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kbertsche
Member (Idle past 55 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 4 of 74 (634578)
09-22-2011 8:48 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Percy
09-22-2011 5:48 PM


quote:
Also, given that Fermilab is scheduled to discontinue operation at the end of this year, they might not have sufficient time to do the necessary setup work to their neutrino facility, and experimenters currently on the schedule through the year's end will fight hard to maintain their place.


Correction: only the Tevatron at Fermilab is scheduled to shut down. The lab plans to continue doing neutrino physics and to pursue new high-energy physics projects on the "intensity frontier" rather than the "energy frontier" (which the US has ceded to CERN).
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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19570
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 5 of 74 (634584)
09-22-2011 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by cavediver
09-22-2011 5:39 PM


Hi cavediver,

Probably not, ...

... but a possibility.

... but I still wouldn't say that "Cern makes a big mistake". ...

It's not a major con-Cern, but I agree that the caution and the request for independent verification is the proper course to take.

Enjoy.


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1768
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 6 of 74 (634585)
09-22-2011 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by cavediver
09-22-2011 5:39 PM


the initial neutrino burst arrived 3 hours before the light (owing to the mean free path through the star for the shock wave being much longer for the neutrino component compared to the photon component)

Do you mean that the path is shorter for the neutrino's?


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 7 of 74 (634593)
09-22-2011 11:46 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ProtoTypical
09-22-2011 10:00 PM


Do you mean that the path is shorter for the neutrino's?

Sort of; it's a little-known fact that photons don't just shoot straight out of the center of a star; it has to random-walk out as it is absorbed and re-emitted by the stellar gas. That's a function of the mean free path of a photon in a star. It's calculated that it can take a photon emitted in the center of the Sun as long as 170,000 years to reach the corona and be emitted into space.

Neutrinos only weakly interact with matter so they shoot directly out. The "mean free path" refers to the average distance a particle can travel within a medium before it interacts with another particle. For a photon, which will interact with anything, that's a very short distance. For a neutrino which interacts with almost nothing, that's a very long distance indeed.


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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1566 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 8 of 74 (634598)
09-23-2011 2:26 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by ProtoTypical
09-22-2011 10:00 PM


Do you mean that the path is shorter for the neutrino's?

Yes - see Crash's explanation above.


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Larni
Member
Posts: 3961
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 9 of 74 (634605)
09-23-2011 3:40 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by crashfrog
09-22-2011 11:46 PM


So when Han Solo did the the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs (it should take about 18), the Falcon was taking a shorter mean free path?

The above ontological example models the zero premise to BB theory. It does so by applying the relative uniformity assumption that the alleged zero event eventually ontologically progressed from the compressed alleged sub-microscopic chaos to bloom/expand into all of the present observable order, more than it models the Biblical record evidence for the existence of Jehovah, the maximal Biblical god designer.
-Attributed to Buzsaw Message 53

Moreover that view is a blatantly anti-relativistic one. I'm rather inclined to think that space being relative to time and time relative to location should make such a naive hankering to pin-point an ultimate origin of anything, an aspiration that is not even wrong.

Well, Larni, let's say I much better know what I don't want to say than how exactly say what I do.


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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


(1)
Message 10 of 74 (634647)
09-23-2011 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Larni
09-23-2011 3:40 AM


So when Han Solo did the the Kessel Run in under twelve parsecs (it should take about 18), the Falcon was taking a shorter mean free path?

A parsec is a unit of distance, not time. Solo was not referring directly to his ship's speed when he made this claim. Instead, he was referring to the shorter route he was able to travel by skirting the nearby Maw black hole cluster, thus making the run in under the standard distance. By moving closer to the black holes, Solo managed to cut the distance down to about 11.5 parsecs. Or so his story goes.

source


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2784
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 11 of 74 (634692)
09-23-2011 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by AZPaul3
09-23-2011 8:49 AM



"Facinating."
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fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 2068 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


(1)
Message 12 of 74 (634696)
09-23-2011 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by 1.61803
09-23-2011 12:10 PM


I think it is proof of our impending doom, 2012 the end of the world. As we approach 2012 the laws that bind the universe will begin to fail, strange results will happen to all kinds of physics experiments more and more as the end approaches. Gravity will weaken, the sun will expand swallowing the inner planets if they haven't floated off into deep space. Eventually the forces that hold atoms and subatomic whatchamacallits together will fade away, and all matter will just poof out of existence.

Fermi said they were going to try and replicate the the results to within one nanosecond of accuracy within the next 6 months. Exciting times in the world of particle physics with the Higgs and now this.

Edited by fearandloathing, : No reason given.


"No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride...and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well...maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten."
Hunter S. Thompson

Ad astra per aspera

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.


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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


(2)
Message 13 of 74 (634721)
09-23-2011 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ramoss
09-22-2011 5:10 PM


CERN is one of the best physics groups in the world. Their scientific discipline is top shelf. What I find interesting is that after reaching their (tentative) conclusion they held off an announcement for several months to re-check their data, their equipment and their protocols looking for any possible error. They found none.

This does not mean that some kind of error has not been made, but I wouldn't bet the farm on that. These guys do not make those kinds of mistakes without finding them in review. Usually. I must, tentatively, assume the phenomenon they reported is real.

A repeat by OPERA and duplication by FermiLab and/or KEK/Tsukuba would not be a major surprise.

But Relativity will not be overthrown. All the hype on the internet and in the media about the end of Relativity is ignorance in play and those familiar enough with Relativity know very well why.

Resolving the conflict here is going to very interesting.


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19570
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 14 of 74 (634732)
09-23-2011 3:18 PM


humour
http://xkcd.com/955/

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

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Modulous
Member (Idle past 27 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 15 of 74 (634734)
09-23-2011 3:26 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by RAZD
09-23-2011 3:18 PM


Re: humour
I guess this makes xkcd a pseudoskeptic then? After all, not only does he make negative hypothesis without providing evidence of said negative hypothesis (neutrino FTL won't pan out - when he hasn't tested the speed of neutrinos under CERN conditions to back up said hypothesis) but he believes that that one can even make a profit by wagering on these negative hypotheses

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


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